12:10 Jun. 4, 2016
But first Kremlin must abide by Minsk and withdraw from Ukraine
German Chancellor Angela Merkel supports deeper economic cooperation with Russia. Merkel says, she wants Moscow to get closer to the European economic area "step by step". And promises to immediately lift all sanctions from Russia. But only after it implements its part of the Minsk agreements, Deutsche Welle reports.
"I want us to eventually have our common economic zone from Lisbon to Vladivostok. But considering Russia's actions in Ukraine we cannot give up our principles", Merkel said at the summit of her political part, the Christian Democratic Union of Germany.
Merkel added, there are several requirements Russia must meet before the relations between Brussels and Moscow could start to improve. Germany and France are doing their best to ensure a long-term ceasefire and local elections. Russia must also withdraw from Ukraine, so that Kyiv could regain control of its border.
"When it's done, than we will be able to immediately cancel the sanctions", Merkel stated.
Her statement arrived amid the negotiations on the possible armed OSCE police mission to Ukraine. Earlier Kyiv claimed, local elections in the separatist-held areas were only possible after a month of complete ceasefire. President Poroshenko said, armed monitors could help bring the escalation down. But Kyiv and Moscow so far haven't been able to come to terms regarding the mandate of the observers.